Saturday, December 17, 2011

The art of simple happiness

Geordie approves of the new fire place

We recently had a gas fire installed in our apartment. It’s in the lounge which is the middle of the 3 rooms. The idea epitomizes cozy during snowy winter days - to sit in front of the fire, a glass of red wine in hand and both cats curled up… sheer bliss. The first day it was snugly fitted in to place, the man said, “Burn it a while to clear the oil off.” It wasn’t a very cold day, so five minutes after I lit the fire, I was boiling hot and then the fire alarm started going off. I ran around banging the damn alarm every time it went off (regularly) and opened all the windows. I felt like I was Nixon - fire on and the air conditioning going at the same time. Eventually peace reigned but the place was a furnace. This fire is hot stuff. We haven’t had to leave it on for long periods before the apartment is toasty. At last we’ve got a touch of colder weather - this morning Lee lit the fire and it warmed the house, but just comfortable, not heat stroke stuff. How happy we were!
Over breakfast Lee - who is puppy dog happy at having 2 full days off - and I talked about what to have for dinner. Pork chop cooked in garlic, orange zest and juice was the decision, green salad and half an avocado. The cats chased shadows and gobbled up their treats - the l-lysine Chaussettes needs to control her feline herpes, Geordie’s brewers yeast for fleas - medicine to anyone else, they just don’t know it.
I drank my coffee and I thought about going to work on my new art project. It is a challenge, an excitement and I keep thinking about it - ways to improve it, change my mind a hundred times about some aspect of it, whoop with joy at the thought of it -  how happy is that?
All this deep thinking so early in the day? But it set me off on a tangent, what is happiness? An artist friend of mine, Bob Hart, did a fabulous series called, “The Missing Letter.” I am delighted to own one of these masterpieces - we traded art.  The series is a fascinating look at mankind. Each painting featured string figures - mostly without arms, an animal or 2 and the alphabet with a letter missing. The idea is most folks keep saying, “If only I had ….., life would be better.” What they don’t realize is if you have your loved ones, your animals, your home and your health, you have everything you need. The lack of arms symbolized how people don’t know how to ask for help. His website is
I have everything I need. I have led an extremely rich life. I don’t have money but I have traveled all my life. I’ve lived through extraordinary times, lived in fascinating countries, made steadfast friends of all nationalities, faiths and colour. I have my loved ones, my animals, home and health - and the cherry on top, I do what I love to earn a living.
And, even if my home is a small 3-room apartment, I now have a fireplace to sit in front of and drink a glass of red wine. Ain’t life grand? The Roman writer, Syrus, said, “No man is happy unless he believes he is.” I guess that can apply to women as well?

No comments: